The US version of Bare Bones and Branches was released in 2005 via the good people of Summersteps Records. Here's the decade-mark cassette and digital edition re-issue. 4 bonus tracks originally on the Delboy Records European import version. Stream and purchase direct via BandCamp

Recording 'Bare Bones and Branches' was no romantic Thoreau affair. It was necessity. I had just returned from touring solo and I was in between residences, living in my van and sometimes crashing at my friend's cabin in Northeast Pennsylvania. I had recorded some of the more minimal songs on 4-Track and Keats Rickard offered to engineer the core of the album, we just needed the space. The cabin was perfect, there was a wood stove for heat and plenty of peace and quiet. The weekend-long session felt more like a spiritual retreat from the heaviness we all were experiencing. I had a broken foot from a skateboarding injury, and I was adjusting to life back in PA after touring and ending a long relationship. One of my bandmates was suffering the loss of his father while battling a heroin addiction. We were also joined by Brother Moses Nathan, fresh out of a Russian Orthodox monastary on the west coast. He stoked both the fire and the philosophical discussions well into the night. Our workshop became a convergence of slightly misdirected emotional experiences where the songs became our therapy. It was as if completing the album would bring ultimate peace, or answers to cosmic riddles. It didn't. We all know that's only possible from the inside-out. However, it did bring us closer to something we were longing for. I dubbed more tracks at Dan's House over the next few months, adding keys, lapsteel, various textures. Those sessions were magic. The LP was released in Europe in 2003 on the Delboy imprint. Summersteps issued it in 2005 with alternate artwork, tracks and takes. Here it is, all these years later, as complete as I could imagine. It's a nice glance in the rear-view mirror, where some roads were smooth and scenic, others with burnt bridges and smoldering two-lane blacktop. Those roads got us here, and there's nowhere I'd rather be. - Lou Rogai

photo: Brian Froustet